Weather: Uniting Nations Row will have 15-16 kt winds from the East North East with 4-5 ft seas. Pacific Terrific will have 14-16 kt winds from the East / East North East with 4-5 ft seas. Cockleshell Pacific Endeavour will have 9-13 kt winds from the North East / North East with 3-4 ft seas.
As Uniting Nations Row is getting closer, they are taking some time to reflect upon their journey that next week will come to an end.
Michael Prendergast sent us this report about how he is feeling on these last few days at sea:
It’s an agonizingly long time to be at sea! We’re lucky to be getting closer but it still feels like a never ending journey of pain and suffering! We’re all exhausted with very sore bottoms but after about 30 minutes in the rowing seat the pain numbs somewhat! I just can’t wait to be able to walk around, go for a morning sunrise walk on the beach, eat beautifully fresh food, to be able to sleep more than 1.5 hours at a time, to drink a few beers, go snorkelling, and to just enjoy the normal events of daily life. What’s pretty hilarious is that I thought that the ocean would be flat and that this would be like rowing racing boat on a take! Whoopsie! I had never imagined how much of a mental game this was going to be. We continuously dream about arriving at Waikiki, but knowing that we still have at least 4 nights to go is tough as we just want to be there! I just can’t wait to step off this boat, take a shower and lie on a bed with fresh sheets with no one shouting “10 minutes” every 1 hour 50 minutes.
What keeps me going is the thought that I will hopefully be helping children with Downs Syndrome develop their speech and communication skills through establishing a centre in my local area, Inverness [CLICK HERE to donate]. If I can assist in improving their lives, then it will make the last 6 weeks all the more purposeful. Hopefully the winds will pick up a bit so we can secure an early arrival day. We are hoping for Tuesday but if the winds stay low, Wednesday morning will be likely. We push as hard as we can when the conditions allow. Last night I didn’t have a t-shirt on until 5 in the morning but one too many splashes led to the nipples feeling like they could be flicked off and reach Hawaii quicker than us! Pain is just weakness leaving the body … yea? Tuning the binoculars on the horizon! See you soon I hope! Michael.
A bit later on we heard again from Michael with this report:
No visions of land yet but dreams of it constantly. After every shift I’m hoping there’s a cloud formation indicating something more than ocean.
The cloud formation will be the crews first indication that something is ahead on the horizon. They will see clouds that appear to not move which is an indication of land. Their actual sighting of land will come around the 100-50 nautical miles to go, depending on conditions. They also might smell land before they actually see it, or at least they may smell something different in the air.
Shifts must have changed on board as shortly after Michael had finished writing Robert Behny sent over this message:
After 45 days I’m feeling stronger, more confident, and generally more like myself aboard Isabel. I’ve personally overcome numerous challenges from food, the environment, and personality conflicts. In this time, I’ve worked through countless personal questions I’ve never had “the time” to do so. I also know that this journey has reaffirmed many of my decisions in life. So I’ve learned that I’m on the right course for myself. This in lieu of needing to drastically change.
A few notes about food. Before this trip began I thought we needed to bring a variety of freeze dried food and some snacks. Now, toward the end of the journey I see it slightly differently. We need to have enough nutrition to keep you moving but past that you need to be excited about what you have to eat. Which was just about what I described. A few main courses and a ton of snacks. So a few freeze dried meals per day then a slew of snacks and treats to keep you interested in eating as needed. I think Mike and Brian had a great approach.
The hardest thing so far … I’d say there isn’t one hard thing but a list of difficult things. The weight of them together present a challenge. If you’re able to cope mentally, maybe your body isn’t doing great with X issue. I think it’s just the slow build up of neglected tasks that can wreck a person.
Mentally overcome less straight forward issues, like personality conflicts: I think I’m fairly lucky with the problems I’ve encountered as I slowly addressed them one at a time. Plus I communicated with my family about them to help.
Food – early on in the trip I started hours long conversations on food. Either explaining how to bake, cook, make a dish or why I liked it. At this point in the trip there is little conversation and only occasional music. Pretty silent affair for the most part. I personally don’t have an issue as most of my training was done in a single person rowboat quietly gliding down river. I do look forward to the sights, sounds, and every other sense when land nears.
So are their journeys really coming to an end or is this a new beginning? Only each crew member will be able to answer that question. Here at Race Headquarters, we just know we are honored to help them along the way.
We might not know exactly know when, but sometime next week we will be seeing team Uniting Nations arrive into Hawaii.
Robert did add one last comment:
The food I’m most looking forward to? Anything with texture! First meal I want – a BLT with chips. First drink – a cold pina colada!
1 Uniting Nations Row/ Isabel: ROWING – 257 NM to finish, Rowed 2050 NM
2 Pacific Terrific/ Danielle: ROWING – 946 NM to finish, Rowed 1467 NM
3 Cockleshell Pacific Endeavour / Bojangles: ROWING – 1194 NM to finish, Rowed 1238 NM
Team Attack Poverty/ Anne: RETIRED
Team Ripple Effect/ Ripple Effect: RETIRED